F**K You, Cee Lo’s Viral Marketing Phenom

Cee Lo Green

Two hours ago, I discovered Cee Lo Green’s new single, F**K YOU, on YouTube. Imagine that. Actually, I first discovered it on Facebook, and swiped it from my friend Redheadwriting’s wall, posted it on my own and ultimately ended up on YouTube, where it had a little more than 750,000 views.

It’s a brilliant example of how effective the combination of a little strategy and a whole bunch of good luck can be when it comes to viral marketing. Cee Lo, with a paltry 8,000+ followers on Twitter and only 3,000 some fans on Facebook, used a combination of YouTube, Twitter and Facebook marketing to drive some almost 750,000 views in the space of a three day period, since its posting on Thursday, August 19th. Do you know how many brands would kill for that kind of exposure and viral buzz?

Not to take anything away from my man, Cee Lo, but this doesn’t appear, at least to me, as a slick marketing campaign carefully orchestrated by an agency and a slew of “social media gurus.” Rather, it seems to be someone who created a great “product” … put it out there, combined it with some timely PR – and then let the public do the rest. I could be wrong. I’m just guessing here, but after spending a fair amount of time looking through Cee Lo’s Facebook feed and Twitter stream, it really appears to be a bit of historic dumb luck. But part of the beauty of this, at least for this consumer, is the inherent lack of slickness in the whole thing. – it appears to have just happened. And that is often a critical ingredient when it comes to the magic of something going viral. Oh, and let’s not forget the power of social media marketing.

The geek in me is compelled to point out some stats here. YouTube has some 2 BILLION views a day and is in an enviable spot as the second most popular search engine in the world. Add to that Facebook’s 45 million daily status updates and 700,000 new members joining on a daily basis, and it’s no surprise that this strategy was effective for Cee Lo. Combine that with a song that’s sure to make even the most curmudgeonly among us laugh – even for just a minute or two – and you’ve got yourself a viral phenomenon.

Cee Lo. Dude, what can I say? A few hours ago, I’d never even heard of you. Now, you can count me among your biggest fans. Hat tip for a job well done. Oh, and your song – well, it rocks! Gawker calls it the song that should have been the song of the summer. I say that no matter when it’s “officially” released, it’ll be at the top of the charts.

Oh, and in the FWIW category, in the time it took me to write this blog post, the YouTube video has had an additional 80,000 views, bringing it to 830,741. In two hours. That’s 80,000 – in two hours.

  • lipdesign

    Only you, Shelly, can write this awesome post and tweet about chocolate anuses on the same given day. and back it up w/ stats! The slicksters need to wake up and pay attention to what you're saying. I love this video. Thanks for sharing.

    Lori

  • http://www.AlexGPR.com AlexanderG

    Can't find that on iTunes. Hmm.

  • ShellyKramer

    Oh, but you will :) ))

  • ShellyKramer

    It's ridiculous, really. The crap I come up with. Thank you, Lori, for putting up with me :) )) And, for the record, I loved this video, too.

  • lipdesign

    I like the crap you come up with! and you are most welcome. :) )

  • Cherry Woodburn

    I'm with lipdesign on this one – this and chocolate anuses in the same day and
    I have Cee Lo envy.

  • Cherry Woodburn

    I'm with lipdesign on this one – this and chocolate anuses in the same day and
    I have Cee Lo envy.

  • Cherry Woodburn

    I'm with lipdesign on this one – this and chocolate anuses in the same day and
    I have Cee Lo envy.

  • mmangen

    LOL I must have missed the tweet on chocolate anuses! Love the song too and I see there are tons of people pulling in their own share of limelight on YT by doing their little dances, animations, etc.

    And now, the video has had: 1,745,618 views

    Incredible.

  • http://quarterlifemag.com Paul Eulette

    1) I'm sad I didn't catch this post on it's original post date. (shame on me)
    2) You've never heard of Cee-lo?! :-P
    3) I have to completely agree with “it appears to have just happened.”

    With any song or music video that ends up online, it has the chance of being “viral” or a flop. Cee-lo was lucky to experience a hit — because he had a great song. However, fast forward from 8/19 to 9/1, now it has become a “slick” Facebook Fan Acquisition, utilizing Facebook annotations to bring viewers back to the Facebook page to view the official video (which will probably end up back on YouTube)

    I'd love to hear your perspective on using his viral success to move it to an actual “campaign” to bring people to his Facebook page. :)

  • John

    gross.. i was waiting for this… “oh he's the guy that sang the crazy song, right?”…. well he is but Cee Lo is the foundation of the historic rap group Goodie Mob, which is why he is where he is today. Google them, wikipedia them, something… ever heard of the phrase “dirty south”? Yup, Goodie Mob (along with CoolBreeze) invented that phrase in 1995. Also you linked to the wrong twitter.. its @theladykilla

  • ShellyKramer

    Paul, clearly I live under a rock. I love his viral success re Facebook and think the whole thing has been wonderfully executed. And am so happy to have (finally) discovered him!!

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